Healthy Aging in the Age of Social Media
Nowadays, we spend more time than ever looking at ourselves, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Social media regularly reminds us how we looked a year (or ten) ago and often challenges us to compare those respective countenances side-by-side. It even conveniently places the pictures next to each other for us, so we don’t have to do a deep dive and look for them.
Scroll through your feed and you will see just as many pictures of yourself on pages of friends as you do on your own, if not more, in some cases. Combine this with daily morning or evening rituals in front of the mirror, and we know every nook and cranny of our faces and bodies on a level of intimacy previous generations never did.
This obviously amplifies our inherent desire to look our best as we get older.
We are living longer than ever. We’re more organic. We’re more meditative. We’re spending more time with ourselves. Yet, we also live in a culture of self-presentation with resultant comments and judgment.
Even as we get older, we can age in a healthy way. However, it’s different for every person. For me, healthy aging is the union of what you feel inside with your outer exterior. Mentally, you want to feel well, and you also want to look well. The purpose is for your vessel to align with your mind-space and state of being.
I had a recent experience that really crystallized my personal mission in some ways. I was about to go under anesthesia for minor surgery. The nurse asked me what I do, and I told her I run GoodSkin Clinics.
She told me, “I tell my kids they should be proud of what they look like.” I’ve always been a champion of embracing your wrinkles. However, one night I looked in the mirror, and I didn’t recognize the person looking back at me. I felt disjointed. I didn’t feel like me anymore. So, I started looking up treatments, because I’m all for looking healthy.”
It was such a cogent point. Of course, you want to be natural. Of course, you don’t want to change who you are, but you want to love how you look. That’s key. Even if you are really healthy and fit, time will reflect in the mirror. You’ll start to look tired eventually. If you adhere to a healthy program, you can maintain a healthy look. Healthy aging is not about changing you; it’s about looking like you!
I have a client in her seventies who has survived cancer multiple times. She’s in the office once every few months. Her cancer recurred, so she’s going through radiation, but she continues to come to us anyway. The client told me she appreciates when people say, “You look great! Did you have a vacation?” without ever referencing her illness. She may be going through something really tough, but she doesn’t have to be reminded of it. Her healthy aging program offsets the reminders she’s facing cancer. That’s very powerful to me. It’s indicative of the benefits of healthy aging.
If you’re looking at yourself so much, I believe you should recognize and love who you see every time whether in the mirror or online. Healthy aging not only enables this recognition, but it increases confidence and charisma. It helps us feel more confident in our vessel. It’s just about loving your own skin and who you are. I know I want to provide a safe way to do that. It comes back to a balance. You don’t have to change too much to get the confidence you deserve. You just have to commit to loving who you are as you merge your physical and mental states of mind.
This essay was featured in the January 5th edition of The Sunday Paper. The Sunday Paper inspires hearts and minds to rise above the noise. To get The Sunday Paper delivered to your inbox each Sunday morning for free, click here to subscribe.